The Ottawa Senators At The 3/4 Mark – Playoffs In Sight

The Ottawa Senators are now three quarters of the way through the season and despite the injuries they have sustained to their top players, they keep rolling along.

While the Senators said goodbye to a couple of teammates, losing Kaspars Daugavins through waivers and trading Ben Bishop, they welcomed a couple of new members to the Pesky Sens.  They traded for big tough guy Matt Kassian on March 12th and acquired rookie of the year candidate Cory Conacher at the trade deadline for Bishop.

Here is a quick review of each game played in the  third quarter of the season.  For the detailed game recap of any game, click on the opponent’s name in the chart below to see it.  Also, if you want to look back at the first quarter, check out my recap HERE; or the second quarter can be found HERE.

Game # Opponent Result Quick Synopsis
25 @NYR 3-2 WIN Silfverberg scores late to give Sens the win
26 BOS 3-2 (SO)LOSS Krejci wins it after Daugavins spin-o-rama misses
27 @MTL 4-3 (SO)LOSS Alfie knew it was in, and it was as Sens earn a point
28 @BUF 4-3 (OT) WIN Turris scores twice, including the winner
29 WPG 4-1 WIN Silfverberg’s pair part of dominant victory
30 @NYI 5-3 WIN Alfie gets point #1,100
31 BOS 2-1 LOSS Late Seidenberg goal steals at least a point from Sens
32 TBL 5-3 WIN Third period Lightning rally puts a scare into the Sens
33 NJ 3-2 (SO) WIN Phillips’ Mojo lives on, Zibanejad SO winner
34 NYR 3-0 WIN Bishop’s last win & SO as a Senators
35 TOR 4-0 LOSS Could go down as Ottawa’s worst performance of the season
36 @BOS 3-2 LOSS Another 1 goal loss to the Bruins, courtesy Horton

 

Mar 17, 2013; Ottawa, ON, CAN; Ottawa Senators centre Kyle Turris (7) and right wing Daniel Alfresson speak after scoring a goal in the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at Scotiabank Place. The Senators defeated the Jets 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

BY THE NUMBERS

GAMES W L OT/SO PTS GF GA PP PK
1-12 6 4 2 14 31 22 9/39 (23%) 42/47 (89%)
13-24 6 4 2 14 22 23 4/41 (10%) 38/43 (88%)
25-36 7 3 2 16 34 30 8/30 (27%) 35/38 (92%)

Through the 1/4 and 1/2 way reports I have used the target of 56 points for the Senators to virtually assure themselves of a playoff spot.  With the third quarter they had, they are now ahead of that pace.  If their current pace continues they will be at 58 points.

The power play came back to life, thanks to Sergei Gonchar and Patrick Wiercioch manning the points.

 

Biggest Surprise

Guillaume Latendresse came back from injury and didn’t look terrible.  He still can’t skate very well, but he contributed 5 goals and 2 assists in 11 games upon his return to the lineup.

Biggest Disappointment

So close, yet so far. The Senators had 3 opportunities to beat the big, bad Bruins, and fell all three times, losing all games by a goal.  They did manage to take them to a shootout once, but haven’t been able to come away with a win against the Bruins in their last 5 attempts.

A close second would be the lack of an appearance of any of the key injured players Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek and Craig Anderson.


 

SEGMENT STARS

3. Kyle Turris - Ended the first half as a major disappointment, but snapped out of his slump with 4 goals and 5 assists over a 6 game stretch to finish tied for the team lead in goals (8) and points (22) on the season.

2. Jakob Silfverberg – Recorded 5 goals and 4 assists including the game winner against the Jets on St. Patrick’s day.  The rookie is becoming more comfortable with every game and that is bad news for opposing goalies.

1. Sergei Gonchar - The catalyst of the Senators offense had a franchise record 10 straight games with an assist, recording a goal and 12 assists in this quarter, despite not having a point in his last 4 games. 

 

SYNOPSIS OF THE LAST 12 GAMES

Hindsight is indeed 20/20, and when you look back at the last 12 games, it was more successful than it felt during the run.  By the numbers, it was the most successful quarter to date, as they picked up two more points in the last 12 games as they did in each of the first two quarters.  If it wasn’t for the 0-2-1 record against the Bruins, their winning % would have been over 80%.

 

THE 12 GAMES AHEAD

The Senators are now just nicely into their season long 7 game road trip.  The next 4 stops are all against non-playoff teams (Buffalo, Tampa, Florida and Philadelphia) and are all should-win games.  Then it wraps up in New Jersey and one last crack at the Bruins in Boston, where the trip started last Tuesday.  After the current road trip the Senators have just one more road game in their 6 remaining matchups.  Carolina, Washington , Toronto, Pittsburgh and Philly will all pay a visit to SBP with the only road contest being a trip to Washington D.C.

Entering the final quarter in a tie for 5th in the conference is pretty much where they have been most of the season. A 5 point cushion over 9th is comfortable, but by no means are they in the clear as teams head down the stretch.  But, as I have said all along, there will be playoff hockey in Ottawa in May.

Topics: Jakob Silfverberg, Kyle Turris, Ottawa Senators, Sergei Gonchar, Three Quarter Mark Of The Season

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